Good plans begin with clear, achievable goals. My goal for this feral family was to catch and spay or neuter all of them, then socialize and find homes for the kittens and continue with community care for the mother outside in the back yard.
I knew that to do this I would need to trap all of them. Find a spay and neuter clinic so they could all be vetted and fixed. Beyond this, the details were pretty sketchy for me. So, I focused on finding a decent clinic and trapping the whole bunch of them.
I bought my first Havahart trap. I followed the instructions about setting it up. I used my dog’s outgrown puppy collar to ensure that the trap would not close until I knew exactly where I would be taking them to see a vet. I continued to feed them inside the trap and get closer to them each day while they ate.
One of my Social Network contacts gave me the name of a Spay and Neuter Clinic. I searched for and found the clinic information on the Internet and gave them a call. It confused me that clinic information on the Internet mentions calling for an appointment.
Question: How do you make an appointment when you are never sure exactly when you will have a feral cat in hand?
Answer: You can’t!
Clinic: Spays and Neuters Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Bring them in between 8 am and 3 pm, Pick them up the next morning at 7:30 am
Me: Did I mention I have a full time job?
Sunday evening was my target time for beginning my trapping experience! I sure was excited. I knew lots of things, sort of, that I learned on the Internet:
- Use a flat piece of paper plate to put the bait food on.
- Mackerel or sardines make good bait (Even though I’ve been feeding them kitten food? Yes.)
- Put a towel over the trap immediately after a cat is caught.
- Bring the trapped cat to the clinic IN the trap WITH the towel over it.
- Try to only trap two kittens per trap.
“It’s easy,” you say?
“Ha,” I reply!
The kittens seem too light to spring the trap! I needed more technical information on this trap!